April 24, 2024
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Former College of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who turned the primary identified transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title, is reportedly difficult World Aquatics in court docket within the hope of overturning its coverage primarily banning transgender athletes from girls’s sports activities. 

Thomas, who has not swum competitively since successful the ladies’s 500-yard freestyle occasion in 2022, has requested the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland to overturn the sports activities governing physique’s newest coverage, which primarily banned organic males from competing in girls’s elite occasions if they’ve undergone “any a part of male puberty,” The Telegraph reported Friday. 

College of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas enters for the 200 Freestyle closing in the course of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on the McAuley Aquatic Heart in Atlanta on March 18, 2022. (Wealthy von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photographs)

In keeping with the report, Thomas employed Canadian legislation agency Tyr and first approached CAS in September. The report additionally famous that World Aquatics requested the court docket to toss the case as the present coverage doesn’t apply to Thomas, who has not competed since 2022. 


Carlos Sayao, Thomas’ lawyer, advised the outlet that the present ban is “discriminatory.”

“Lia has now had the door closed to her by way of her future means to observe her sport and compete on the highest stage,” he stated. 

“She’s bringing the case for herself and different trans girls to make sure that any guidelines for trans girls’s participation in sport are honest, proportionate and grounded in human rights and in science.”

Lia Thomas waits for a preliminary warmth within the Girls’s NCAA 500 meter freestyle swimming championship on the Georgia Institute of Expertise in Atlanta on March 17, 2022. (AP Picture/John Bazemore)


Thomas beforehand expressed curiosity in competing within the Olympics throughout an interview with “Good Morning America” in 2022.

“It’s been a purpose of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a really very long time, and I might like to see that via,” she stated.

However the next month of that 12 months, World Aquatics, beforehand referred to as FINA, up to date its coverage for transgender athletes, primarily banning any organic male athletes from competing in girls’s occasions until they transitioned by the age of 12 or earlier than present process “any a part of male puberty.” 

Lia Thomas on the podium

Lia Thomas appears on from the rostrum after ending fifth within the 200 Yard Freestyle in the course of the 2022 NCAA Division I Girls’s Swimming & Diving Championship on the McAuley Aquatic Heart on the Georgia Institute of Expertise in Atlanta on March 18, 2022. (Mike Comer/NCAA Photographs by way of Getty Photographs)


The coverage change was spurred by the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s tips and advice in November 2021 that every one worldwide federations develop their very own sport-specific eligibility standards for the ladies’s competitors class.

This previous summer time, World Aquatics introduced it was additionally establishing an “open class.” 

World Aquatics didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information Digital’s request for remark. 

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